In vitro development of human oocytes after parthenogenetic activation or intracytoplasmic sperm injection

Alessio Paffoni, Tiziana A L Brevini, Edgardo Somigliana, Liliana Restelli, Fulvio Gandolfi, Guido Ragni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To compare directly in vitro developmental competence between parthenogenetically activated and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)-fertilized oocytes. Design: For each patient, three metaphase II oocytes were randomized to the ICSI procedure, while n-3 were allocated to parthenogenetic activation. Setting: University hospital infertility unit. Patients: Thirty-eight patients, aged 35.2 ± 3.3 years (mean ± SD) selected for ICSI. Interventions: After 1 hour from denudation, oocytes were either fertilized by ICSI (n = 114) or chemically activated (n = 104). Fertilized and activated oocytes were cultured for up to 3 and 5 days, respectively. Main Outcome Measures: Development rate, cell number, and morphological grade during culture. Results: The two groups showed no significant differences between rates of fertilization and parthenogenetic activation, development, and blastomere number on days 2 and 3 of culture. However, parthenotes showed a lower morphological grade, and a significantly lower proportion went on cleaving to day 3, when only activated rather than total numbers of oocytes were considered. On day 5 after activation, nine oocytes (8.6%) reached the blastocyst stage, representing 12.9% of parthenotes. Conclusions: Since most parameters examined in this study were similar between activated and fertilized oocytes, parthenogenetic activation may be a useful tool for the preclinical evaluation of experimental procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-82
Number of pages6
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


  • blastocyst
  • ICSI
  • in vitro development
  • Parthenogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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